Monday, 27 July 2015

What do academics actually do in the summer vacation ?

With graduation behind us now and the annual distance learning summer school again successfully delivered, it is time very much for me to start the serious preparations for the Royal Holloway MBA 2015/16 programme that kicks off on 21 September.  

I have already been confirming the teaching team’s availability and planning a range of off campus elements including a central London theatre trip, something perhaps a little more physical (a surprise for now) and as a novel idea, a English Premier league away football match. 

Justin near Asahi HQ and Tokyo Skytree
Everyone thinks that university staff are ‘off’ all summer, it certainly is NOT true for your favourite MBA Director.  You will have seen from my MBADirector blog posts that I have been literally flying all over, most recently returning from a mostly leisure but little bit of MBA business trip to Tokyo. 

As every year I am supervising a number of post graduate students through their dissertation, on Friday I had a meeting about big data applied to aviation islands, one of my many research projects.  Then I rushed off to north east London to meet with the marketing director at Saracens Rugby (English champions) to see if we can collaborate next year and offer a taste of a very traditional English sport to the MBA group. Exciting update on this to follow.

Already I have locked down the theme park consultancy for 20 October, which is going to be assessed as a taster marketing consultancy for the first time and we are discussing with BT Wholesale, the giant UK from technology/telecoms, to see  if we can offer a new practical consultancy as part of the term 2 technology/strategy module.    Previously with MBA students we have visited the iconic (not open to the public) BT Tower. 

You will find it hard to believe that I have had time for more, (I will save mentioning my invitation to be a guest innovation blogger for Japanese tech Ricoh, some kudos) but I have also been very busy writing case studies, two have been accepted this week, here is a link to the Boden fashion case summary, where I get many of my flowery shirts from.  

Colourful Boden shirts

Our refs 315-162-1 / 8
Title Boden – Diversifying or internationalizing a fashion brand    

The other was a write up from a guest lecture slot last year, a tech start up, GoLoc8,  that is using SIM based circuit board technology to create a low cost, disposable high value package tracking service.  The case will be released later in the year as part of a SAGE publishing 500 strong case collection.

Emma from careers has just provided me with an update on last years MBA employability survey, pleasing as it showed an average salary of £56,000.  Global logistics company DHL have been exploring opportunities with us too, I think the employability outlook for our graduates is just getting better and better currently. 

I am taking a few days R’n’R (rest and relaxation) with my family in Bermuda from Monday – look out for a follow on blog update of our experiences there, although it will also include a little bit of ‘work’ as I plan to hook up with RoHo MBA alumnus Ibou who works in the drinks industry on the island, he has already given us a few tips for good restaurants.

Happy Holidays !